For those of you who do not know who Michel Rolland is, it might be a good idea to get acquainted. He’s virtually a household name in the wine industry; there are likely few better known wine consultants than Michel Rolland. Best known for having consulted on the blending of some of Bordeaux’s finest vintages, Michel has traveled the world — to about 21 winemaking countries no less — to lend his expertise to Old and New World vineyards alike.
A tasting of six Malbec- dominant blends that Michel Rolland blended for Clos de los Siete in Mendoza, Argentina showcased his expertise when it comes to creating blends that best express what the region and terroir have to offer.
A Clos de los Siete 2014 consisting of 54 percent Malbec, 18% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, sourced from the Valle de Uco, Vistaflores and Canton de Tunuyan, and aged predominantly in oak, new French oak and one year-old barrels was characterized by fresh raspberry and blueberry notes, earthy and jammy elements and bright acidity.
A Clos de los Siete 2013 consisting of 53% Malbec, 23% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah and 4% Petit Verdot and sourced from Canton de Tunuyan from a combination of new French oak, year old oak and two year old oak barrels, had good structure and tannins, dark fruit and young plum notes, and elements of earth and smoke. This vintage will become increasingly well rounded and balanced with time.
A Clos de los Siete 2011 comprised of 56% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was sourced from Valle de Uco, Vistaflores and Canton de Tunuyan and aged in equal parts new French oak, year old oak and two year-old oak was smooth and velvety with lush red fruit notes and soft floral aromas. The tannins show through at the end adding complexity to the finish.
A Clos de los Siete 2009 comprised of 57% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah and 3% Petit Verdot sourced from vineyards in Canton de Tunuyan, with 70% of the blend undergoing maturation in a third new French, year old and two year old oak barrels, had weight, structure and acidity, notes of fresh plums, sour cherries, leather and oak, followed by an even finish.
A Clos de los Siete 2006 comprised of 45% Malbec, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah that was also sourced from vineyards in Canton de Tunuyan, with approximately 67% of the blend undergoing maturation in new French oak barrels, was characterized by ripe fruit and earth notes, considerable depth and subtle elements of raisins and dried cranberries.
A Clos de los Siete 2003 comprised of 50% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah that was sourced from vineyards in Canton de Tunuyan, with 67% of the blend undergoing maturation in new French oak barrels, had a juicy and bright character, with fresh acidity and notes of preserved sour cherries and plums.
An Argentinian-centered array of small bites ranging from roasted vegetables to chorizo showcased the food pairing potential of these Malbec dominant wines.